photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan
The fights returned the The Wachovia Spectrum as Power Productions collaborated with Damon Feldman for a 6 fight card in the South Philly landmark. The primary attraction was a showdown between two local heavyweights and Mark “Oaktree” Brown and Dave Brunelli squared off over 6 rounds of action.
In the main event, Light Heavy’s Richard Stewart and Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson went to war over 8 rounds of back and forth slugging. There were a few more heavyweights on the bill as undefeated Gurchuran Singh from India took on “Millionaire” Mike Miller in a 6 rounder and Grant Cudjoe of Brooklyn went in against upstate PA’s Jason Bergman.
In Welterweight Action, Raymond “Tito” Serrano was making his pro debut against Tierre King. Dan “Bada Bing” Biddle opened the show and looked to make it two in a row as a professional.
Mark “Oaktree” Brown….vs….Dave Brunelli
It was a battle of two tough local heavyweights which was surrounded by a lot of hoopla and media attention. Once it got into the ring, it wasn’t the greatest of fights but nothing competes with two locals fighting each other.
Overall, this one went at steady paced fight where both fighters had some good moments though neither was seriously hurt at any point.
The opening round started as expected with Oaktree coming out aggressive and looking to work inside while Brunelli looked to fend him off with his jab. In the final minute, the action picked up as Oaktree was able to land a couple of good lefts while Brunelli finished the round landing two straight rights which wrapped up a close round. The bell sounded but that didn’t stop these guys as they kept at it until the ref broke the fighters up.
The pace kept up in the second round with Oaktree starting it off with a right hook to the body followed by a head collision backed Brunelli into the ropes. Oaktree followed up with a good flurry to the body. The fight ended back in the center of the ring with Brunelli working his jab and trying to side step his incoming opponent. The fight stayed on the inside for the remainder of the round with Oaktree finishing up with a looping right hook.
After a slow third round that saw a lot of holding, Brunelli bounced back in the 4th with his best work of the night. He started the round landing three straight punches upstairs followed by some good body work. Oaktree began to get wild with his hooks which didn’t land. As the round ended, Brunelli finished with two more straight rights to the head of Oaktree.
It was steady pace to begin the 5th where Oaktree began to land his jab in the early going. After some more holding and wrestling around, the round neared an end with Brunelli scoring first with a short right but Oaktree fired back with 2 short lefts. Both men kept on punching and the crowd rose to its feet in approval as the bell sounded.
It was a rough sixth and final round with both men coming out fighting like it was all on the line. Both looked for the home run blow which caused a lot of tie up’s. Oaktree did more on the inside during these tie ups which was probably the difference in the round.
The fight went to the cards and they read 60 – 54 & 59 – 55 x 2 in favor of Mark “Oaktree” Brown.
With the win, Mark Brown improves to 10 – 1.
Light Heavyweight Division
Richard Stewart…vs…Jameel Wilson
Most of the fans hit the exit after the Oaktree – Brunelli fight and man, did they miss a war. For 8 non stop rounds, Richard Stewart and late substitute Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson hammered each other with hard shots to the body and head.
Both men had moments of excellent action. Wilson took Stewart’s best and would fire back with two, three and four punch combo’s to Stewart’s face.
There were times where Stewart looked like he was ready to go but he sucked it up and came back stronger. The same can be said for Wilson who was rocked more than once but instead of going down, he regrouped and fired back with everything he had.
The fight went to the cards and they read 76 – 75 Stewart, 77 – 75 Wilson and even at 76 – 76 for the draw. A rematch is a must!
On the undercard….
India based heavyweight Gurchuran Singh won an uninspired decision over “Millionaire” Mike Miller of Ohio. Singh won on sheer volume.
Miller was his usual slick self, bobbing and waving, catching right hands and counter punching. In the rare occasions when he took the fight to Singh, he got the better of the action.
While Singh still has room to improve, promoters drool over the millions of potential new fans that be brings to the table.
The fight went to the cards and somehow they saw it 59 – 55 & 58 – 56 x 2 for Singh.
In another Heavyweight bout, Brooklyn resident Grant Cudjoe (14-3) got a tough nights work but grinded out a hard-earned decision victory over a solid Jason Bergman of Pittsburgh. Both fighters threw some heavy bombs in this one, though Bergman (5-4-1) landed less, his did more damage as the southpaw stunned Cudjoe more than once with a big left.
Cudjoe, who was originally born in Grenada, was at his best when he got his man into the corner where he would unload a barrage of rights and lefts. Cudjoe seems like a bull in that ring and if he catches you right, it could be lights out.
The fight went to the cards and they read 59 – 55 & 58 – 56 in favor of Cudjoe with the third judge seeing it even at 57 – 57 giving Grant Cudjoe the majority decision.
In an early bout – 18-year-old former local amateur sensation Raymond “Tito” Serrano made the most of his pro debut by slugging new comer Tiere King out of there midway through the first round with a left hook to the body.
The kid from North Philly will likely be brought along slowly but many “in-the-know” feel he can develop into a world class Welterweight down the road.
In the opener, Dan “Bada Bing” Biddle scored a first round KO that was too fast for our cameras to capture.
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